MagAO-X 2024Aa Day 12: Off the charts

If you’ve been around this blog a time or two you’ve probably heard our woes with respect to seeing — the measurement of just how twinkly the stars are. Twinkling is bad for science, and our instrument can’t operate well if the seeing is too high.

We started this run with some pretty good seeing! In fact, two nights ago was the first night for my program and the seeing was excellent! I was able to observe a lot of my targets and get great images. You might have seen that last night was less spectacular, and I’m sad to see tonight is no different.

Off the charts seeing
That’s 2.5 arcsec seeing, wind gusts of 35.

Before we closed for wind and more engineering, Jialin got to drive some and I took some maybe-useable data.

Driver’s ed

Some animals and nice shots from the day.

Some of Eden’s lovely telescope night shots

BUT WAIT! The night’s not over yet. Immediately after my time was up and I left the control room, seeing tanked just in time for Jay’s disk observations

The night ended strong with Jay riding out his target until sunrise.

Some of you may have clocked that I arrived a bit late to the mountain this time. Well here is the quick story time.

In May last year I had a foot surgery that through many ups and downs has still not fully healed today (that’s a story for another time). I haven’t been able to bear weight on my left foot since May, approximately 10 months of not using my foot. About three weeks ago I got the go ahead to start walking on it again, and I was slowly and carefully transitioning back to bearing weight. But even though I was mostly walking, I couldn’t walk long distances, so I decided to bring my knee scooter to get around the airports easily.

In Santiago customs I got selected for an extra security scan and as I was hauling my luggage around I lost balance and fell over the front of the scooter, which severely messed up my left first metatarsil bone (the main bone through your foot leading to each toe). I couldn’t put any weight even on my heel or move or touch or even put my croc shoe on my foot. So I decided to stay in La Serena and see a doctor to be sure it wasn’t broken. It wasn’t. But the long period of disuse makes it incredibly lucky that it wasn’t! I saw the dr again a few days later, then headed up on Thursday.

I’m doing a lot better now! Still not walking, I’ve got crutches now to get around the site. But definitely better. At this trajectory I might be able to walk some by the time we leave.

So that’s the story!

The song of the day is The Calamity Song by The Decemberists